On December 26, 2015 my husband and I arrived home in the early evening after a Christmas party. I glanced at my Facebook and saw a post concerning a tornado near Dallas. We turned on the TV, to The Weather Channel, and saw footage of the massive, monster tornado moving toward Garland, Texas–where my son and his family live. My heart fluttered as my husband sent a text message to my son asking if they were okay. My son replied: “We’re in the bathtub in the bathroom right now.” There was nothing I could do but pray, in that moment, for God’s protection over my family. Minutes ticked by as we watched the devastating tornado live on television knowing my grandbabies with their parents were huddled together waiting for the storm to pass.
About five minutes later I received a text from my son: “We’re okay!” Over the next hour the story unfolded. They had heard the deafening roar of the tornado ripping and tearing things up outside their home but they were untouched. Just down the street, the story was different. Complete destruction and death was left in the wake of the storm. One breath and life was taken for granted and one breath later it became the most precious gift.
This past Saturday, on January 2, 2016, I received a text message from my sister alerting me to the fact her 9 month old grandson in Colorado was in a medical emergency. A half hour later my mother called to tell me my niece’s baby son was gone, he had passed away. The ensuing hours were filled with heartbreaking phone calls from my sister and mother. Why? What had happened? I don’t understand this God. I stood outside, looking up into the sky, crying and asking God for an explanation. One breath and life was taken for granted and one breath later it became the most precious gift.
We aren’t promised another day, another hour, another minute, or another breath. Life can change abruptly in just one second. Yet, we squander our minutes and worry and fret about trivial matters and fight over childish, ridiculous things and we don’t appreciate what we have or who we have or where we are. With one breath we can fill a lonely, desperate heart with hope or we can damage irreparably. With one breath we can reach out and help the struggling neighbor or child or family member or with one breath we can condemn and judge. With one breath life is a passing thought and in the next breath it is a treasure.
As the next days, weeks and months pass by consider the value of one breath. Think about the effect you are having in another life. Remember the God who has given you life and honor the gift by living nobly, honorably and honestly. Just one breath.